Monday, February 13, 2012


After several people commented that my walking had seemed better after my hip replacement and now seems to be worse again, I decided to make an appointment with my surgeon to see if he could explain why that is.  Even though he hadn’t had much bedside manner (and in fact had been downright rude), he was my best choice for a consultation.
He did a bunch of X-rays and then showed me the reason.  I have a fairly prominent curve to the left at the bottom of my spine.  I had always known about a curve in my upper back, but the lower one was news to me.  My weakened muscles which were cut during my hip replacement have perhaps allowed this curve to get even worse.
He annoyingly kept referring to my condition as a “deformity”, making me feel like a dwarf with a hunchback.  But I just let that one go and asked him if there was any intervention.  He said in a worst case he would suggest surgery to insert a rod in my spine, thereby making it straight but rigid.  Fortunately even he said I wasn’t ready for that.  He did order an MRI to see if there was any indication of stenosis.
I did heroic meditative breathing through the 30 minutes of the MRI under the threat that they might have to start over if I moved.  Fortunately I was still enough and the results didn’t show any real problem other than the scoliosis.
Today I had a private class with a teacher in Herndon who does Yoga for Scoliosis.  She  went through a number of yoga poses with me that are aimed at keeping curvature from progressing.  That sounds like a much more pleasant remedy that adding more metal to my body.
Sometimes I wonder if anything could have been done about my “deformity” when I was a child or even a teenager.  But what-if-ing doesn’t usually accomplish anything.  Instead I’m trying through natural means to deal with what nature threw my way.  Most of the time I have very little pain even though my gait continues to be rather bizarre and labored.  I always remind myself that there are so many people out there with problems much worse than mine.


Blogger Kristin said...

I love the way you continue to learn and grow and that you take nothing at face value! If anyone can beat a diagnosis, it's you.

10:15 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

CBP or chiropractic biophysics is an advanced branch of chiropractic that actually claims to be able to change posture. They put you in traction 3-4 times a week to make what they call mirror image adjustments and supplement that with personalized exercises based on what they see in the Xrays. It's a real PITA, and expensive, but it is supposed to be significantly helpful, even for people with scoliosis. If you are interested you can visit to find a chiropractor near you who uses this technique.

I did the whole traction routine with a chiropractor about 12 years ago because my lower back lacked the curve it needed and I had back pain. It was a torturous process but my lower back pain gradually went away and it hasn't come back. They make you really aware of your various physical tendencies and give you maintenance exercises which are both really helpful in maintaining the new and improved posture. If you have one leg slightly shorter than the other they'll fit you with a shoe insert. That's often the main reason people have back issues apparently.

Of course there are no guarantees, and I know there are a lot of quacky chiropractors out there, but if you find a good one he/she can work wonders.

11:33 PM  
Blogger e said...

I'm sorry to hear of these developments. I was diagnosed with scoliosis at twelve and never realised how it might effect gait until reading your post. I hope the yoga helps and keeps you out of the surgeon's office. Please keep us all posted. Nothing was done about my scoliosis as a kid, either. I have a good friend who was braced for hers and she continues to have back pain today which is apparently worsening.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Steve Reed said...

Sorry to hear you've been having more trouble. That surgeon does sound like a prize when it comes to bedside manner -- sheesh! I agree that yoga sounds like a much better option! Making those muscles stronger is bound to help.

3:06 AM  

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